After months of uncertainty and little to no work, cosmetologists are finally able to get back to the place they love most—the salon—working with the people they’ve missed the most—their clients.
But returning to the salon post-pandemic shutdown isn’t as easy as it sounds. Unfortunately, we’re not clear of the coronavirus disease yet—because there’s no vaccine and no real “cure” out there at the moment, we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to take this opportunity to reopen seriously. As much as we wish we could just climb back into the saddle and conduct our shop, salon, or business exactly like we used to, the fact of the matter is, some things have changed.
And we need to change along with it.
It’s important to continue to do everything in our power to protect ourselves, our employees, our clients, and others around us—and that means we’ll need to figure out how to return to the salon safely as things begin to reopen.
How can we do this? By implementing a few new procedures, protocols, and guidelines that can help to limit or slow the spread of the virus. We’ve laid out a few starting strategies to get you going!
Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
As a reputable salon, you obviously know your requirements for keeping a sanitized, clean, and healthy space. But, in this tumultuous time, our efforts to sanitize shouldn’t just be meeting those guidelines, they should be exceeding them.
Before you open back up, give your salon an absolute no-holds-barred clean. Sanitize, disinfect—do everything you can to ensure that your space starts out clean before clients or employees start coming in and out. If you start with a clean, sanitized space, it’ll be easier to keep it that way as people begin to filter through again.
When you do reopen, make sure that you’re sanitizing and disinfecting between every single client. Surfaces, tools, equipment, chairs—everything you use or that has been touched needs to be properly taken care of.
If you have staff at your shop, be sure to brief them all on your comprehensive sanitizing protocol. That way, you can be sure everyone knows from the start how to sanitize properly.
Know Your State and Local Guidelines
One of the most confusing things about the pandemic is that every city, county, state, and country is reacting differently and instituting their own distinct guidelines to combat it. So, just because one city has one set of guidelines doesn’t mean another one will.
It’s so important that you know your local and state guidelines before you reopen your shop or salon, but it’s also important that you continue to keep up and stay abreast of the consistent changes that are happening. It’s your responsibility to ensure you’re complying with these guidelines, so make sure you’re tracking these daily as well as implementing these guidelines, too.
Implement New Policies
If you’re keeping up with your state and local regulations, you probably have to implement new policies that are (basically) non-negotiable. But if you’re hoping to do everything you can to keep yourself, your employees, and your clients safe, we suggest implementing a few extra policies even if they’re not totally required. Think about adding on new policies for things like:
PPE and Protective Gear—Insist that you and your colleagues (or employees) wear PPE to protect patients and inhibit the spread of germs and infections. Consider gloves and other protective gear as well. If you want to take it to the next level, consider asking your clients to wear masks, too.
No Waiting Rooms—You’ve probably worked hard to create a space in your salon where people don’t mind waiting, but for now, make sure they’re waiting outside. Set up a system that allows you to call clients in when you’re ready so you avoid idle waiting times and lots of people crowding the space.
Occupancy Limits—You probably already have a limit in your salon or shop based on your area’s regulations, but just in case, we suggest creating an occupancy limit that leaves plenty of room for social distancing. Try to set up clients at every other chair, ensure everyone always has 6+ feet of space, and don’t pack people in (no matter how desperate they are to get back to you!)
No Communal Treat Bowls—This one is pretty obvious, but we wanted to mention it just in case! Trust us, we know how it is—you want to create a warm, hospitable, welcoming environment, so you put out little treats here and there (it’s the oldest trick in the book and it works like a charm). With the current situation, we say forget the treat bowl—even though it’s hard.
Be Sure You’re Protected with Liability Insurance
If ever there was something to learn from this pandemic, it’s that we can’t always predict what’s going to happen. Regardless of views on its severity, its origins, or the politics intertwined with it, we can all agree that this pandemic came unexpectedly, showing us that even when we’re doing everything we think we’re doing to be prepared, there’s always room for the unlikely to rear its head and drop something unexpected on us.
We can’t think of a better time to double-check that you’re insured with the right type of liability insurance—especially before you open back up for your clients. Having liability insurance isn’t a bad thing—it’s the opposite. There’s this misconception that if you have liability insurance, you’re somehow expecting something bad to happen because of your own skills or talents. This simply isn’t the case. When you invest in liability insurance, you’re showing your clients that you’re prepared for every and any eventuality—you’re invested in their wellbeing and in their safety.
Now that you’re reopening, it’s more important than ever to show your clients you’re able to handle anything that comes your way—and insurance is a big part of that.
Transitioning back to “normal” isn’t going to feel seamless—and honestly, it probably will take a while before we all start feeling comfortable back in the salon again. But by implementing procedures, ensuring your team is on the same page, and adhering to your state’s regulations, you can do your part to ensure everyone is being kept as safe as possible and you can get back to doing what you love—working in your salon or shop!
Check out Elite Beauty Society to learn more.